Gardening with Mr Brown

 Helping with the gardening...
Escher is here!

I'm gardening with Escher again - Escher, the big brown dog, whose nose leads him into country-trouble. He has slipped back effortlessly into the gardening groove. Just the quickest, sneakiest of visits next-door to roll in something stinky, then back to snooze in the sun. Bored? Feeling peckish? A hop and a jump over the fence to snack on some fallen Hazelnuts.

A splosh and a slurp in the water, then straight through the little stone wall - the direct route, suitable for a bulky dog. Blunder into the middle of a Phormium, turn sharply, and knock a few more stones over. It's hard work being a dog with an uber-nose.


And Escher is chunkier. This is (naturally) hotly denied by his parents, who are never-the-less responsible for 'chunking' him up. His man-bark is deeper than ever. He has been practising it on all the cars/vans that drive up and down next-door's driveway. Lucky neighbours, with Escher here to protect me from intruders. How ever did I manage to stay safe without him?

Saturday 17th September

So far today I've cleared the visible mess near the river pump, and I've tidied up the little stone wall by Willow Bridge (well, I've tried to). For a moment I thought of planting the water-loving irises here, but have decided not to. I've pulled out loads of scruffy creeping irises (confusa). Not to be confused, hee hee. with the beautiful flowering ones I am about to plant, you understand!

 The Rosemary is in flower.
Escher by the Herb Spiral

Right. Back we go. We have all had 'lunch' - not that Escher needs any lunch. He looks like a brown suede coffee table.

 I think this one is Cornubia.
Red Rhododendron

Much Later...

I've planted the fancy irises. Colours - blue, mid-blue, blue fading to white, and yellow (all rejects bred by my plantsman friend). I've pulled out the patch of scruffy ones near the Willow tree stump. They were smothering a little stone wall, which now needs a few more stones and a bit of infill. Again the roots had forming a thick surface mat, and I reckon this was stopping water from getting to the late blue-flowering rhododendrons above. The bonfire has also gobbled up prunings of Ballerina roses, Phormium leaves from the pond flaxes, and more gum tree mess collected from the Hen House Garden. So I've been getting around a bit!

I've had the watering hoses on, and I've watered the seedlings in the glasshouse. Lots of them are up, some almost ready for pricking out. More spring Camellias are flowering (I love the ones behind the Stables), with lots more daffodils and muscari underneath. Tulips? No show. Hopeless. I didn't buy in any new bulbs this year. Cornubia (a leggy red rhododendron), yellow Forsythia, and the pretty starry Eriostemon shrubs are flowering too.

Sunday 18th September

Aargh! Early morning inside, catching up on my journal. Escher squeaking and bunting my hands. Dear dog! He wants to go gardening. Yes? Yes! There will be rodents to source, track, and savour. Esxher, please don't stomp all over the daffodils, like you did yesterday. What daffodils?

Much Later...

What a day! First we went to the dog park, then we picked up a trailer load of top soil and compost, plus six bags of potting mix. Then I started my work. Fixing more little stone walls, building up the soil, pulling out yet more iris confusa.

 I love the deep apricot one.
Daffodil Trio

I was stung (or bit) by a bumble bee. I knelt on it (poor thing) and I have a slightly red, slightly puffy knee. Best not to exaggerate a minor gardening injury. I hope I didn't kill anything.

Honorine de Brabant :
Honorine de Brabant is a striped Bourbon rose, highly thought of by old rose lovers.

The bonfire has been going all day, and as part of my clean-up I trimmed the huge Miscanthus and pruned Honorine de Brabant, which had an alarming amount of die-back. This rose is ages old and I'm sure many a specimen has survived and thrived without any pruning. Its behaviour puzzles me. The internet isn't much help, either. 'Prune early' and 'Avoid pruning' seem to be the most common instructions. Oh well. One of life's lessons, as usual, found in the garden. Hee hee...

Monday 19th September

Escher goes home today. Wow. I can repair the stone walls, and pick all the daffodils he's squashed. I won't have to shut my eyes as he leaps high over the neighbour's barbed wire fences. Yeay! I won't have to worry, or bellow, or listen, or search, or scan the neighbour's paddocks for a flash of gangly brown legs.

 Mister Chunky!
Brown Dog Stretch

I will miss him? Well yes, naturally, but...